No matter how great your resume and cover letter are, you still need to ace that job interview to land the job of your dreams. The 24 hours leading up to a job interview are crucial for your chances of success. You have to have the right preparation technique to make sure you kill it on interview day. Here’s how to do just that.
How Should You Approach a Job Interview?
Remember that you’re ultimately trying to charm a person, and convince them that you’re an interesting and fun person to work with. You could, for example, look up some online news the morning of your interview, to mention a bit of interesting (non-controversial) trivia, to humanize the interview a bit.
Remember that a job interview isn’t an exam. Many people have bad exam practices and prefer to cram for exams the day before or on the days just before an exam. That won’t work in a job interview. You have to start preparing days or even weeks before the interview. The last mile, those final 24 hours, are about final preparation and getting yourself into a relaxed frame of mind.
If you already have a job, or some other commitments, you should try and get the day off so you can prepare for your job interview. This way, you can focus completely on preparing for the job interview, free from any work-related stress or other distractions. It’s not just about eliminating stress and distractions, it’s also about creating a slot to get your game plan right.
If you can’t get the day off, that’s not the end of the world, you just have to be extra organized to create space for you to prepare and relax.
Review, Review, Review!
The last mile isn’t the time to start doing any serious research. You should already have your heavy research done. You should understand the business model, the culture, the expectations, what your role entails, where you think you can make a concrete contribution, and an idea of what the average pay is for that job.
The final 24 hours are about reviewing all your research. Go through the commonly asked interview questions, as well as behavioral interview questions. If you can, try and get a mock interview the day before the job interview. This will help you prepare your body and mind for the interview. Just as athletes have practice sessions before match night, you want to get as close as you can to interview conditions. Imagine the worst case scenario and test yourself under those conditions. Imagine a hostile interviewer and ask yourself how you can turn them around.
Planning for the worst will tell you where your deficiencies are and allow you to correct them before the interview.
It’s really important to relax yourself on the day before the interview. A radical way to do this is once again by imagining the very worst: the interview going absolutely wrong and you not getting the job. This sounds like a way to increase the pressure on you, but studies show not only will this show you that many of your fears are unfounded and irrational, it will also free you from attachment to getting the job. Once you’ve failed in your mind, the pressure is off. This runs against our intuition but works. You want to get to that casual frame of mind where you’re just going to see a bunch of guys to talk about some stuff.
You also want to take time out to treat yourself. Don’t go crazy. You don’t want to go out and get a hangover and miss the interview or arrive feeling like death itself. Go to the gym, read a book, watch a movie, or cook a nice meal. You want to do something light, relaxing and not too taxing. Your aim is to get to bed feeling at peace, and to use the final 24 hours to become relaxed and feel refreshed.
It’s now the night before. You have to make sure you get your 8 hours of sleep, or however many hours you need to wake up feeling like you are ready to conquer the world.Your sleep hygiene is super important, such as:
- Ideally, you should have a consistent sleep routine, sleeping at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends.
- Keep your room dark, quiet, and relaxing, at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove all electronic devices, including TVs, smartphones, and computers, from your bedroom.
- Don’t eat any large meals, or drink caffeine or alcohol before going to bed.
- Workout during the day so that you sleep better at night.
The Morning of the Job Interview
It’s important to have lots of energy the day of the interview. Some people find it hard to pick out something to wear the day they are going for an important meeting or event, so you may or may not prepare your outfit for the meeting the day before the interview.
What is essential is that on the day of the interview, you have a good breakfast, get some coffee to help with your energy, and get to the interview very early. Don’t cut it close. They won’t understand, regardless of your excuse.
Finally, wish yourself good luck!